Paramore doesn’t appear to have such a “hard time” in their new music video.
Their newest single “Hard Times,” comes off their upcoming album After Laughter, which is to be released in full May 12. Now, it has a colorful music video to accompany the upbeat melody.
The video opens with Hayley Williams, lead vocalist, entering a dreamlike world as her car has seemingly crashed into the sky. Bright colors, mostly blue and pink, surround her in the form of clouds, neon lights and special effects of psychedelic designs and patterns.
Inserts with Hayley centered in the frame include rain and lightning to match the lyrics of the second verse: “Walking around / with my little rain cloud” and “You hit me with lightning / maybe I’ll come alive.”
As the video progresses, more and more of the frame begins to consist of drawn-in rainbow elements to emphasize the beat, movements and other details of the images. Clouded blue and pink lights flash according to the guitar rhythms.
She begins to fall to the “rock bottom” that she wants to hit, taking a detour through space itself, but never stops falling. By the end of the video, she begins to interact with her bandmates as they share in the colorful repetition of the lyrics “hard times” and “these lives.”
Overall, the video suggests that a drug-induced state is preventing Hayley from engaging with her peers, particularly according to the lyrics, “Tell my friends I’m coming down / We’ll kick it when I hit the ground.” The end of the video suggests that she never comes down from her high and continues to dance in her colorful, dreamlike state.
Still, the video is ambiguous and open for interpretation. “Hard Times” focuses on visual pleasure rather than a message and symbolic meaning.